This is a question that I love to hear! It avoids getting the cart before the horse.
#1 – Go to a lender, ideally a local bank, and ask to speak to a “real estate” loan officer about getting pre-qualified. This can often be done over phone. I normally suggest going to the bank where you have a savings or checking account, or even an existing car loan. They will be more familiar with you and should work harder to get your business.
Do no confuse “pre-qualification” with “loan approval.”
“Pre-qualification” simply means that (a) they have run your credit and you show an average credit score of at least 640, (b) you’ve been on your job at least one year and show job stability, and (c) your monthly income versus monthly debts show that you have the ability to make a house payment, real estate taxes, and insurance. This is known as your debt-to-income ratio.
The lender will then tell you that “based on your current income/debts” you qualify to buy a home up to XXX dollars. This amount can go up if you pay off loans or make more money, and it may go down if you borrow more money before we find you a home. Your lender can advise you if you’re not quite pre-qualified yet.
WATCH for our next question where we discuss why it’s a benefit to be pre-qualified.
Call Bruce Guilford Real Estate/Auctioneering any time with further questions on how to help you find the house of your dreams. We’d love to help you!